Author Topic: OO POV: Physical Transmutation of the Eucharistic Elements into the Body & Blood  (Read 912 times)

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Offline Severian

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A while ago a Chalcedonian poster mentioned that according to a certain canon (which he did not cite), should the Eucharistic elements take the physical appearance of flesh and blood they should be discarded and new elements should be consecrated instead. But I was wondering what the OO perspective on this issue was.

St. Severus of Antioch says:
Quote
For the bread that is consecrated on the holy tables and mystically transmuted is itself truly the body, the body of him in whose name it was in |91 fact transmuted, that is of him who voluntarily died and rose for our sakes. But, if it is the body of him who rose, it is plain that it is impassible and immortal. If we do not look at the bread that is mystically transmuted, but at that which comes under the eyes of the senses, and, seeing it broken, do not confess it to be indeed immortal, it is time for us to say that neither is it God's body: for what is seen is indeed bread. By the faith therefore by which we understand and believe it to be the body of God who became incarnate without variation for our sakes, and voluntarily suffered and rose, by the same faith we understand and confess that it is also immortal and impassible, and bestows impassibility and immortality on us. For he who allowed it to be cut and divided, because indeed it was otherwise impossible for us to partake of it, in the same mercifulness also allows God's body which has been already transmuted to appear as bread. And for a confirmation of the transmutation that is accomplished this has been seen by many even with the eyes of their senses themselves, and they have seen bloodstained flesh being broken, not the bread that is laid upon the altar.|
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severus_coll_2_letters.htm
-Letter 30

It seems from the above quote that said phenomena is a miraculous sign from God. Also, during the reign of Pope St. Kyrillos VI it is said that the very same thing occurred after the late Pope had prayed a liturgy. Can it be deduced from this that we OO view this physical change in a positive light? Quotes from authoritative sources are always helpful.

Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 02:09:31 AM by Severian »
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Severian

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(Bump)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 03:19:50 AM by Severian »
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline wgw

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There is a story of a Muslim prince who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy after seeing the priests performing the Liturgy of Preparation in an EO temple - he saw them slicing up an imfant rather than the Lamb.  He immediately called his guards, intending to execute the priests and laity for such a heinous crime, but upon arrival saw that in fact it was merely bread and wine.  Thus, he converted to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith of which the Eastern and Oriental churches are equal participants, and after refusing several entreaties from his elder beother, a higher ranking prince or bey in the Ottoman Empire to return to Islam, was executed for his apostasy, receiving the crown of martyrdom.

Thus, there is no difference between what St. Severus is saying and the prudent practices of the Eastern Orthodox.  It is de rigeur in all apostolic churches to confirm the veracity of miracles; if one sees a vision, any Eastern or Oriental Orthodox who has been properly catechized will discuss it with their priest.  In like manner, an Eastern Orthodox priest who experiences an apparent miracle during the Eucharist will most likely talk to his bishop; the same I expect is true of the Oriental church; I will ask Abuna in the morning.  The devil routinely attacks using fake miracles and trickery, and discernment is vital.  In fact my maincritique of Roman Catholicism is the degree to which they seem to embrace what is most aptly described as prelest, by credulously accepting some apparitions of the Virgin Mary in which she endorses some new doctrine, which seems to run counter to the warnings of St. Paul in Galatians, that even if an angel from Heaven comes preaching a different Gospel from that taught by the apostles, they should be anathema.  In the West Syriac Rite celebrated by the most holy Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, which together with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has established a close bond in recognition of their shared faith and in response to the terrible persecution they face together, that verse from Paul is aung as the hymn "I heard the Apostle Paul say..." before the reading of the Epistle during the Qurbono.

Thus, on this point as on any other, one cannot find any substantial or meaningful difference between Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy.   After speaking with Abuna tomorrow, God willing, I will post an update outlining what he was taught to do by his Coptic bishop when such an anomaly occurs.

Offline Severian

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^You know full well I do not completely agree with you, but thank you for taking the time to respond.

FWIW, my Priest told me that should something like this occur the elements are to be consumed.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 04:39:34 AM by Severian »
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Severian

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-Bump-
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Antonis

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
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Offline Severian

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
Thanks for the input :)
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Antonis

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Quote
There is a story of a Muslim prince who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy after seeing the priests performing the Liturgy of Preparation in an EO temple - he saw them slicing up an imfant rather than the Lamb.  He immediately called his guards, intending to execute the priests and laity for such a heinous crime, but upon arrival saw that in fact it was merely bread and wine.  Thus, he converted to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith of which the Eastern and Oriental churches are equal participants, and after refusing several entreaties from his elder beother, a higher ranking prince or bey in the Ottoman Empire to return to Islam, was executed for his apostasy, receiving the crown of martyrdom.
Do not introduce your own opinions into miracle stories, please. It is deceptive.
"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4

Offline Antonis

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
Thanks for the input :)
No problem. If you're interested, I believe the specific instructions for what to do with a baby would be to place it on the table of preparation and either use the reserve in the tabernacle or consecrate more of the Eucharist for the people. Then, you basically wait until the baby changes back and consume that Eucharist as well.
"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4

Offline Severian

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
Thanks for the input :)
No problem. If you're interested, I believe the specific instructions for what to do with a baby would be to place it on the table of preparation and either use the reserve in the tabernacle or consecrate more of the Eucharist for the people. Then, you basically wait until the baby changes back and consume that Eucharist as well.
Has this ever happened before? Do you know where I could read such a manual?
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Antonis

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
Thanks for the input :)
No problem. If you're interested, I believe the specific instructions for what to do with a baby would be to place it on the table of preparation and either use the reserve in the tabernacle or consecrate more of the Eucharist for the people. Then, you basically wait until the baby changes back and consume that Eucharist as well.
Has this ever happened before? Do you know where I could read such a manual?
Presumably. Like the canons, these instructions were all written because these incidents had actually occurred. I haven't seen the manual online, but I have seen it once in person. I'll look to see if I can find more about it online.
"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4

Offline Severian

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Thank you again^
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Interesting to view this in the light of current fetal harvesting and dissecting in abortion, as it sounds like what the Muslim saw in said miracle. Pretty disturbing.

Offline rakovsky

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
Not sure I agree with this.

If the priest turns his back for a minute and when he turns back there is a baby on the plate, I think he should discard as far as using it for the Eucharist is concerned.

Offline Antonis

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
Not sure I agree with this.

If the priest turns his back for a minute and when he turns back there is a baby on the plate, I think he should discard as far as using it for the Eucharist is concerned.
You can think what you like. Maybe you would benefit from reading my later post where I detailed further instructions.
"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4

Offline rakovsky

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Hi, Severian.

There are manuals for Orthodox priests for what to do in the case of a variety of situations involving the Eucharist, from the wine freezing over to it changing into a baby. They would not discard the baby or flesh or whatever visible form the Eucharist had taken on.
Not sure I agree with this.

If the priest turns his back for a minute and when he turns back there is a baby on the plate, I think he should discard as far as using it for the Eucharist is concerned.
You can think what you like. Maybe you would benefit from reading my later post where I detailed further instructions.
I missed that. Thanks!

Offline NicholasMyra

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They would not discard the baby
...good to know.
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Offline Salpy

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From the Desert Fathers:

Quote
This is what Abba Daniel, the Pharanite, said, 'Our  Father abba Arsenius told
us of an  inhabitant of Scetis, of notable  life and of  simple faith; through
his  naivete he was  deceived and said,  "The  bread which  we  receive is not
really the body of Christ, but a symbol. Two old men having learnt that he had
uttered this saying, knowing that he was outstanding  in his way of life, knew
that he had not spoken through malice, but through simplicity. So they came to
find him and said, "Father, we have heard a proposition  contrary to the faith
on the part of someone who says that the bread which we receivve is not really
the body of  Christ, but a symbol." The  old man said,  "it is I who have said
that." Then  the  old men exhorted  him  saying, "Do not  hold  this position,
Father, but hold one  in conformity with that  which  the catholic  Church has
given us. We  believe,  for our part, that  the  bread itself is  the  body of
Christ as in  the beginning, God formed man  in his image,  taking the dust of
the earth, without anyone being able to say that  it is not  the image of God,
even though it  is not seen  to be so;  thus it is  with teh bread of which he
said that  it is his  body; and so we believe  that it is   really the body of
Christ." The  old man said to them,  "As long as  I have not been persuaded by
the thing itself, I shall not be fully convinced." So they  said, "Let us pray
God about this mystery throughout the whole  of this week  and we believe that
God will reveal it  to us." The old man  received this saying  with joy and he
prayed in these words, "Lord, you know that it is not through malice that I do
not believe and so that  I may not err through  ignorance, reveal this mystery
to me, Lord Jesus Christ." The old men  returned to their  cells and they also
prayed God,  saying, "Lord Jesus Christ, reveal  this mystery to the  old man,
that he may believe and not lose his  reward." God heard  both the prayers. At
the end of  the week they  came to church on Sunday  and sat all  three on the
same mat, the old man in the middle. Then their  eyes were opened and when the
bread was placed on the holy table, there  appeared as it  were a little child
to these three   alone. And when  the priest  put  out his  hand to break  the
breadd,  behold an  angel descended from  heaven with  a  sword and poured the
child's blood into  the chalice. When   the priest cut   the bread into  small
pieces, the  angel also cut  the child  in pieces.  When    they drew near  to
receive the  sacred elements the  old man  alone  received a morsel  of bloody
flesh. Seeing  this he was afraid and  cried out, "Lord,   I believe that this
bread is your flesh and this chalice  your blood." Immediately the flesh which
he held in his  hand became bread, according to  the  mystery and he  took it,
giving thanks to God. Then  the old men  said to him,  "God knows human nature
and that man cannot eat raw flesh and that is why he has changed his body into
bread and his blood into  wine, for those who receive  it in faith."Then  they
gave thanks to God for the old man, because he had allowed him not to lose the
reward of his labour. So   all three returned with joy   to their own  cells.'

http://www.coptic.net/articles/sayingsofdesertfathers.txt

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Is this seriously not disturbing to anybody else?

Offline Salpy

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I think it is supposed to drive home not only the reality of what the Eucharist is, but also the suffering of the innocent Christ Who gave His life for us.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Is this seriously not disturbing to anybody else?

What exactly is disturbing?

Offline Theophania

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Is this seriously not disturbing to anybody else?

The story Salpy just posted? Not at all. It drives home what the Eucharist really is.
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Offline Severian

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Is this seriously not disturbing to anybody else?

The story Salpy just posted? Not at all. It drives home what the Eucharist really is.
+1

And thank you for the reference, Salpy. :)
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline ZealousZeal

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Is this seriously not disturbing to anybody else?

Yes. I mean, I get it and I believe in the real presence, but the story is still disturbing to me.
Ecc 10:19- Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Is this seriously not disturbing to anybody else?

Yes. I mean, I get it and I believe in the real presence, but the story is still disturbing to me.

Is your avatar a photo of your face after reading those stories?  Because you're awesome. 

Offline ZealousZeal

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Is this seriously not disturbing to anybody else?

Yes. I mean, I get it and I believe in the real presence, but the story is still disturbing to me.

Is your avatar a photo of your face after reading those stories?  Because you're awesome.

Yes. Exactly that.
Ecc 10:19- Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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I believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, but I think it's a bit of a leap to imagine my priest cutting up a live infant into pieces on the altar and then chewing on that infant's flesh and drinking his blood. It disturbs me in the same way that Molech worship does, abortion, fetal tissue harvesting, etc. If I had a vision of priests cutting up a baby, my first impulse would be to dive at them and save the baby's life, then detain or kill them protecting that child. Not a pious vision to me: "How inspirational! I saw my priest cutting up a baby and then I knew that God was real!" Sounds pathological.

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If I was an unbeliever and saw a baby being cut up, then I would presume, just as the accusers of the early Church, that participants were cannibals and sorcerers of some sort.  The Holy Spirit would really have to be touching my soul to see it as ok.
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Are you sure sacramental theology isn't Catholic? ....
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 12:20:04 AM by WPM »

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I believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, but I think it's a bit of a leap to imagine my priest cutting up a live infant into pieces on the altar and then chewing on that infant's flesh and drinking his blood. It disturbs me in the same way that Molech worship does, abortion, fetal tissue harvesting, etc. If I had a vision of priests cutting up a baby, my first impulse would be to dive at them and save the baby's life, then detain or kill them protecting that child. Not a pious vision to me: "How inspirational! I saw my priest cutting up a baby and then I knew that God was real!" Sounds pathological.

I know what you are getting at, but I think this goes to how extreme our Savior's sacrifice on the cross was.  He, being God incarnate, was at least as innocent as a little baby, and yet He allowed Himself to be violently nailed to a cross so He could spend three hours dying an agonizing death. 

And every Sunday we eat His flesh and drink His blood.

When you step back and think about it, it really is quite shocking.  I think that we become desensitized to how extreme Christ's sacrifice was, and what a truly radical thing the Eucharist is. 

The story of the vision of the baby is shocking, but maybe once in a while we need to be shocked into remembering that the Eucharist is no ordinary ritual.

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I believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, but I think it's a bit of a leap to imagine my priest cutting up a live infant into pieces on the altar and then chewing on that infant's flesh and drinking his blood. It disturbs me in the same way that Molech worship does, abortion, fetal tissue harvesting, etc. If I had a vision of priests cutting up a baby, my first impulse would be to dive at them and save the baby's life, then detain or kill them protecting that child. Not a pious vision to me: "How inspirational! I saw my priest cutting up a baby and then I knew that God was real!" Sounds pathological.

I know what you are getting at, but I think this goes to how extreme our Savior's sacrifice on the cross was.  He, being God incarnate, was at least as innocent as a little baby, and yet He allowed Himself to be violently nailed to a cross so He could spend three hours dying an agonizing death. 

And every Sunday we eat His flesh and drink His blood.

When you step back and think about it, it really is quite shocking.  I think that we become desensitized to how extreme Christ's sacrifice was, and what a truly radical thing the Eucharist is. 

The story of the vision of the baby is shocking, but maybe once in a while we need to be shocked into remembering that the Eucharist is no ordinary ritual.

I also think these signs are given to us, when needed, according to our capacity to receive them.  Perhaps at the time that all these events took place, even though eating infants was not a common occurrence by any means, the imagery was not as unsettling as it is for us now.  These days, when you hear of miracles associated with the Eucharist, they are much more tame (e.g., levitating "bread", bleeding "bread", "bread" turned to flesh, etc.) than some of the occurrences in this thread. 

Offline rakovsky

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When I think of the Communion as Jesus' body and blood, the image that comes to my mind is his blood and body in his adult life at the time when He consecrated the host at the Last Supper or later on the Cross. I haven't thought of it in terms of an specifically infant communion in the sense of the body being an infant until reading this thread.

I understand that babies are innocent, but Jesus was innocent His whole life, so I am not sure why the Eucharist should take the form of the image of a specifically infant communion. I suppose that those who portray it this way though have more explanations about it.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 03:40:57 AM by rakovsky »

Offline Alpo

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But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Severian

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a Chalcedonian poster

LOL.
Did I offend you? Sorry. Next time I'll say "non-anti-Chalcedonian" or "anti-non-Chalcedonian" instead. :) ;)
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Offline rakovsky

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a Chalcedonian poster

LOL.

I typed in Chalcedonian poster in Google and got this:
Quote

...here is a photoshopped version of the icon of Christ Pantocrator – the best icon ever – which I posted immediately below in the “Starting Tuesday Off Right: First Commandment Edition”. The Cristos Pantocrator icon conveys the truth of Dyophysitism (Our Lord is One Person with two natures – divine and human). Look at the two sides of His face. They are quite different. Entire volumes could be written about this image, but for the purposes of this essay, let us just say that this icon communicates the two distinct natures of Christ, divine and human, dwelling in the One Person of Christ.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 03:58:22 AM by rakovsky »

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Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

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That looks like schlock^
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Alpo

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a Chalcedonian poster

LOL.
Did I offend you? Sorry. Next time I'll say "non-anti-Chalcedonian" or "anti-non-Chalcedonian" instead. :) ;)

No, you amused me. Using "Chalcedonian" as a term for EOs/RCs is silly. Not offending but really silly.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline LBK

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That looks like schlock^

Not quite. It's an attempt to illustrate St John the Baptist's proclamation of  “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" using imagery borrowed from Roman Catholic sources.

It is interesting that this sort of depiction seems to be only found in Russia and neighboring regions. It appears to be absent from historical Greek iconography.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

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From what I've read, this type of iconography came about to combat the idea that the Eucharist was not really the Body and Blood of Christ.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline LBK

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From what I've read, this type of iconography came about to combat the idea that the Eucharist was not really the Body and Blood of Christ.

The western church needed to combat various teachings and ideas which arose from the consequences of the Reformation. It is around this time in history where the imagery of the Child in the chalice began appearing in Orthodox iconography.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Alpo

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That looks like schlock^

Not quite. It's an attempt to illustrate St John the Baptist's proclamation of  “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" using imagery borrowed from Roman Catholic sources.

It is interesting that this sort of depiction seems to be only found in Russia and neighboring regions. It appears to be absent from historical Greek iconography.

I really like that kind of Slavic iconography. When were those kind of painted?
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline LBK

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18th century, mainly.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Alpo

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I should get to know that period. I like the colours and the fact that they are not too naturalistic but not Byzantine either.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 07:32:58 AM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34